Daria Gavrilova sent a classy message to Ash Barty after losing to her in an Australian Open clash that had her in tears.
Daria Gavrilova couldn’t hold back her emotions after a disappointing exit from the Australian Open, holding her head in her hands to hide her tears as she slumped in her chair immediately following her 6-1 7-6 (9-7) second round loss to compatriot and good friend Ash Barty.
In a scrappy clash that never hit great heights, Gavrilova was invited back into the contest thanks to a sloppy second set from Barty, with the world’s top player admitting she “lost her way” when she led 6-1 5-2.
Barty twice served for the match and failed, with Gavrilova gritting her teeth to force a tiebreaker, then earning two set points, before an unforced error finally gift wrapped Barty her progress into the third round.
It was a missed opportunity that clearly irked Gavrilova, with disappointment written all over her face as Barty consoled her at the net.
Gavrilova confirmed that she was upset with her performance with a tweet soon after she left the court, writing that she and Barty had “brought out the worst in each other” before wishing last year’s semi-finalist luck in her quest to break the drought and deliver an Australian Open title for her nation.
“Keep on rolling @ashbarty! Let’s go Aussies,” she wrote, finishing with an Australian flag emoji.
In many ways the disappointment expressed by Gavrilova is a great sign early in her return from a horror run of injuries.
Losing to Barty in a fighting performance is no mean feat, particularly as Gavrilova’s ranking has slipped all the way down to 445 in the world from a high of 20. Yet she defied her lowly ranking to easily account for 64th ranked Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1 7-5 in the first round on Tuesday.
Commentating on Gavrilova’s match with Barty for Nine, her Billie Jean King Cup captain Alicia Molik acknowledged that the underdog hadn’t quite managed to execute her game plan as she would have hoped.
“It was a difficult match for both players, you can see how upset Dasha is,” Molik said.
“She didn’t quite put in the performance she would have wished for or that she’s worked for but for the number one player in the world Ash Barty, she did just enough of what she needed to do. She just bothered Dasha just that little bit more.”
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